BRITAIN’S new national flagship could run on recycled fish oil and have a special radar to spot whales.
Eco-gadgetry and fuel will be key to the Government’s promise to make it the “greenest ship of its kind”.
The PM says the £250million vessel — with hybrid battery-powered engines — will be a marvel of British-led design that “the world’s top investors will fall over themselves to visit”.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has vowed that the ship will be “the greenest of its kind, environmentally and ecologically advanced maximising the use of sustainable fuels and materials”.
The vessel, the successor to the Royal Yacht Britannia, will be used to boost trade and UK interests abroad.
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The contract to build it has yet to be signed, but it will be a ship rather than a luxury yacht and be crewed by the Royal Navy.
Critics claim global shipping is an eco-disaster, emitting a billion tons of CO2 a year, polluting the seas with sewage and fuel and killing thousands of marine animals.
Secrets of the green sea star
PROPELLERS: The ship will be fitted with the Navy’s super-silent submarine propellers. They are among the quietest in the world, to stop vessels being detected by enemy.
CATALYTIC CONVERTERS: Filters on funnels and catalytic converters dramatically reduce toxic emis-sions, storing particles on board until they can be safely removed at port.
SUSTAINABLE FUEL: Norwegian cruisers Hurtigruten have switched to liquid natural gas to slash emissions and are experimenting with biofuels made from food waste.
WIND: Kites known as sky sails could fly off the bow to assist the engines, while giant extendable funnels draw power from wind flowing over them.
WASTE WATER: Waste water is filtered onboard until drinkable or stored until it can be discharged at port. Dumping dirty water at sea pollutes oceans and transfers invasive species.
LIGHTWEIGHT CONTSTRUCTION: Navy pioneered minesweepers made of glass reinforced plastic to avoid triggering magnetic mines. Lighter than steel ships and more energy efficient.
HYBRID BATTERIES: These make ship engines more efficient just like they do in cars — taking excess power from the engine to charge and boosting the engines in times of need.
WHALE RADAR: Countless whales are killed every year through collisions with ships. The specialist radar equipment can help ships spot whale pods in advance and avoid them.
HULL DESIGN: The X-BOX, made by Norwegian firm Ulstein, is inspired by the shape of dolpins’ and whales’ heads. It reduces drag and noise, making ships more fuel efficient.